27 April, 2007
The European Parliament plenum on Thursday provided new modernisation possibilities for fishing boats with the ratification of a report by Greek Eurodeputy Yiannis Glavakis on behalf of the Fisheries Committee.
Adopting the report with 572 votes in favour, 35 against and 10 abstentions, the Eurodeputies acknowledged the possibility of European Union member-states to make a "limited increase in the capacity of their fishing boats."
The ultimate aim of this increase is "the improvement of safety, work and hygiene conditions, as well as the quality of products on board with the creation of refrigeration facilities."
Greece has the largest fishing fleet in the European Union, Eurostat said on Thursday.
The EU executive's statistics agency, in a report, said the Greek fishing fleet totaled 18,275 vessels, or 20.4 pct of total EU fleet, followed by Italy with 16.2 pct, Spain 15.3 pct and Portugal 11.1 pct. Greece's fishing fleet totaled 19,962 boats in 2000.
Eurostat said 93.8 pct of the Greek fishing fleet included boats less than 12 metres in length, up from an 81.6 pct average rate in the EU-25, while the Greek fishing fleet's average age was 23.9 years, up from an average of 20 years in the EU-25.
The report said 96.7 pct of the Greek fleet was less than 25 tons, up from an 87.7 percent in the EU.
Source: Athens News Agency